Sunday, September 26, 2010

....and continues....

Day 13

 Day 14

 Day 15

That little detail is from the lower right corner. Once I get more more glass painted in, it'll be subtler, I think. While in some ways the bird's body reflects the angles of Chris' pose, I'm not hoping for viewers to make an immediate comparison of the two.

(The white blur in the lower left corner of the detail shot is a dog's tail wagging in hyperspeed. Usually they stay out of the way of the camera, but it was an exciting morning.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And the painting continues...

Day 9

Day 10

The foreground glass is proving to be time-consuming, but fortunately the middle ground and distant glass seems to go rather quickly...which is good, as I only have about ten more days to work on it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Exciting news from Cremona, Italy, today in my inbox--looking/sounding more like a telegram than an e-mail, which seemed appropriate somehow:


We finished up the viola last Friday, rather frantically; final coats of varnish, both for effect and to protect the paint and gold leaf; bridge, soundpost, saddle, blackening of f-holes and pegbox, etc. Finally, Peter and Ryan strung it up to test it out and get the strings stretching before travel.

The Antique Instrument Contest is a pretty big deal, and while neither of us expects either of the Amati copies we entered to win, making it to the finals is a satisfying validation of our tonal and artistic achievements.

Of course, Ryan (an accomplished young player and luthier himself) gave me all the approval I really needed, in terms of tone, after trying it out for the first time.

"This is a good viola," he said, adding that while the G was slightly unresponsive, "that C sounds like a fucking cello."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh my...I've fallen down on the job, it seems. Oh well, onward and upward.

Prep for the show is coming down to details and I've been working on choosing a color to paint the gallery. Not a necessity, as they maintain a very nice white...but I wanted to claim the space. So I've done a few tests in my studio space to see how the work looks against it, and settled on a pretty nice brown...

And today I painted a swatch of matboard and took it in to make sure it didn't look ghastly with the floor at the Harwood (which I vaguely remembered was a brown of some kind).

Not perfect, but okay. I think I'm going forward with it. One of the long walls is mostly windowed, and also has radiators and that kind of thing. Right now my plan is to leave that wall completely white, and see how that looks. Maybe strange. We'll find out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Live figure drawing is something I never regret doing, so I'm glad that UNM has started its free Wednesday night sessions again. If you're in the area, I highly recommend you come by--it's always surprisingly empty and the models always surprisingly good. Fruits of tonight's labors, where I worked from the first female model I've had in a long time:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Painting update. An excellent long weekend, with plenty of time to work!

I started some of the more time-consuming detail--the repeating floral motif on the piece of backdrop fabric--then decided that the background immediately around it should be done first, so that the looser work of the sky and trees doesn't slop over onto the pattern. So I started by establishing the treeline:

Day 5

...and then started working on the sky. It's loose, thin, and brushy right now, which I didn't originally intend, but which I like well enough that I'm going to leave it as is for now. Same with the choppy blockiness of the trees' silhouettes. Adds a little bit to the ominousness, I think.

Day 6

Sunday, September 5, 2010

As it's basically autumn all of the sudden, I've got Land Arts nostalgia, so I started looking at projects from last year. Our crew's final site was the Buena Vista community in El Paso, where we stayed and worked with artist Roberto Salas on creating a mural that would liven up an old retaining wall and be seen from the highway.

First there was group brainstorming of design ideas:

Photos taken by Bill Gilbert

Then marking out the grid:

Then actually laying stone and grout:

And so it progressed, over the course of four days.

(Click on images to see them larger, if you're so inclined.)

A pretty major group effort! Reviews from the general El Paso public were mixed, but the people who actually lived in the neighborhood seemed genuinely pleased and touched by the effort, supplying us with a regular stream of bottled water, encouragement, and occasionally even beer or baked goods.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Painting update. Here's the bit of work from yesterday, when I started working some detail into the textiles.

Day 3

(After this area, the palette for the rest of the piece gets rather subdued, so I'm relishing this little foray into fabric-y exuberance.)

And here's where it sits tonight after this evening's work:

Day 4

This is where things start to get fun! And not just because there are genitals involved.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Today we took our second drive in as many weeks to the Las Cruces Museum of Art, for the reception for Ghost Town Arts Collective's group show "Down Every Side Street: New Directions in Southwestern Art." It was exciting to see everything installed...

Mixed-media sculpture by Heidi Rushing

Installation view: works by Liz Elsberg, Katy Cannon, Tim Tracz and Jean Roelke, Mike Kury, and Nicole Ng.

Karen Cleveland, Albuquerque, graphite on paper

Katherine Taylor, ceramic

Arlene Cason, detail from Pandora's Zipper

Patti Dye, mixed media

...And, among other things, also exciting to participate in a dance piece choreographed by fellow GTAC board member and general badass Meghan Cardwell-Wilson.

Several-more-hours-of-driving-in-one-day-than-usual later, I'm a bit too tired to properly post everyone's links and piece names, but I'll edit them in later.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sometimes people laugh when I say I've only got one painting to do before my thesis show, and that I'm concerned about being able to finish it in four weeks. Then I say, "it's a big one, though--twenty by twenty-five inches."
Sometimes they laugh at that, too.

I don't know how to respond further, except to chronicle the piece's progress so it's evident I'm not just sitting around on my hands! Anyway, I started it this afternoon, and this bit of layout represents several hours' work:

This is the only human figure in the piece. I blocked him, and the fabrics that surround him, out; and since have been applying fields of color on which to build shadows/highlights/patterns.

I'm eager to get further along enough that completion starts to seem plan is to post a status on it every couple of days or so, to goad myself onward and upward.